Continued from Landscape and Urban Design for Wildlife (Part I)
Some top tips on how to enhance schemes include:
- Incorporating and retaining existing habitat on site. This will ensure that opportunities remain for wildlife, whilst reducing costs associated with expensive habitat creation. This will keep the best habitat on site, and can also provide visual screening.
- A concentrated approach should be considered, to include high quality green corridors and habitat, rather than large areas of lower quality habitat. This can include green infrastructure, and creation of linear features on the boundaries of the site to maintain connectivity.
- Appropriate management is also important, and should encourage structural variety on site. Simple solutions, such as allowed longer grassland edges to establish, fewer grassland cuts to encourage herbs and wildflowers, and reducing the use of pesticides can enhance habitats on site for wildlife.
A sensitive lighting scheme could be implemented on site, to include directional lighting away from boundary features and retained habitats to maximise opportunities for wildlife
- Select appropriate mitigation for a site, based on its size and location
- Leave rough edges within habitats, for example longer edges to grassland, and keep deadwood on site
Appropriate planting and design can help to enhance opportunities on site for a range of different species. Fruit and nut bearing species can enhance foraging opportunities for species including badgers, night-scented species can enhance foraging opportunities for bats, and deadwood piles can enhance opportunities for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Enhancements do not have to be large scale or costly, but can be cost efficient targeted solutions that can be incorporated within landscape plans.
Ecological enhancements on site can range from small, cost effective solutions such as deadwood pile creation, insect houses, bat boxes and tubes, bird nesting features, and incorporation of native planting within landscape plans. Larger, more extensive ecological enhancements can also be incorporated within larger schemes, such as green roofs, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), creation of ponds and new habitats, living or green walls, and green infrastructure. The scale of mitigation and ecological enhancement will be dependant on the type of development, location and opportunities on site, and larger enhancements are not always suitable or pragmatic for small or urban sites. A suitably qualified ecologist will be able to provide further advice for your landscape and mitigation scheme